Sure, DJI is the dominant player in the drone’s industry, capturing over three-quarters of the market. Still, Parrot has been in the game just as long as the Chinese manufacturer has, but has, however, always lagged in terms of their specifications. Now, with the Parrot Anafi drone wants to go head to head with DJI, which is great news that someone is finally stepping up to the plate.
Parrot Anafi Features and Specs
The Anafi drone is built from the ground up to take stunning aerial photographs and videos. It’s also made for travel, and its hinged arms fold inward, allowing it to fit inside the pill-shaped carrying case, no larger than a water bottle. Other specifications are less obvious to the eye but are just as important. Below we break them down to the core.
What’s in the box?
One parrot Anafi drone
1 Sky controller 3 radio transmitter
1 USB Type-C smart battery (2700 mAh)
1 USB Type-C battery charger
16 GB micro-SD card
8 extra propeller blades
1 mounting tool
1 instruction manual
1 carrying case
9.6″ x 2.6″ x 2.5″ folded size, 6.9″ x 9.4″ x 2.5″ unfolded size
11.3oz (0.43 kg) weight
4K HDR video
21 Megapixel still images
2.8x lossless zoom
180-degree tiltable gimbal
2.5 mile (4 km) transmission range
Top speed of 33 miles per hour (53.11 km/h)
25 minute flight time
GPS & GLONASS satellite positioning systems
Geo-fence safety perimeter feature
“Find my drone” drone tracker feature
Follow Me flight mode
Return to home feature
Videos and photos can be edited right in the phone app
Build quality and durability
You can’t build a drone with strong, sturdy materials that weigh it down too much. However, Parrot was able to strike a good middle ground, with the Anafi being light and durable. Historically, Parrot’s drones have been less study and more playful with abilities to do all manner of moves. Still, they were able to incorporate some dexterity in their previous drones and use resilient materials.
The Parrot Anafi can bounce back after crashing, unlike previous models that were more brittle. Perhaps that’s why DJI has been able to have such a firm chokehold in the market since durable drones have always been their mainstay. It’s finally good to see Parrot taking leaps in closing the gap when it comes to long lasting quadcopters.
Parrot Anafi camera
This quadcopter’s camera is its standout feature. It is equipped with a HD camera that can take stills at up to 21 Megapixels, shoot video in cinematic 4K (4,096 × 2,160) at 60fps, 4K UHD (3,840 × 2,160) at 30fps, or 1080p FHD at up to 60fps. Also, the wide-angle aspherical lens captures video in a 17:9 aspect ratio.
The Anafi camera also has a built-in HDR video option, which enhances images by making bright and dark areas more balanced than in standard HD video. Photos and footage have a better detail thanks to HDR, which is very important for drone photography. It can also capture images in RAW format, which has more metadata than JPEG or PNG. You can edit with third-party software like Photoshop, and after purchasing this drone, you can activate an offer of two months free access to Adobe cloud.
The camera is mounted on a 3-axis gimbal. Unlike most drones that can only capture video from a fixed angle, Anafi’s camera has a 180-degree vertical tilt. The camera can be adjusted to look straight ahead, to all the way downwards while in flight. Having this capability allows you to capture shots that you are limited to in many other drones, adding to your creative freedom. With the Freeflight 6 app, you can not only take photos and videos but edit them as well.
Battery life and recharge time
Parrot claims that Anafi’s lithium-polymer battery of 2700mAh can deliver a flight time of up to 25 minutes on a full charge. However, that amount of time seems only to be achieved in rare prime conditions. Most users have averaged 23 minutes of flight time, which is considered good enough for its price.
Of course, making full use of the drone’s motors makes the battery drain much faster. However, in the harshest weather and rigorous tests, the Anafi clocks in a respectable 21 minutes of flight time. Even its main competitor, the DJI Mavic, only stays aloft for an average of 18 minutes.
The battery takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to charge from zero entirely. A USB-C charger is included in the purchase, and it can be plugged into standard phone chargers, laptops, or power banks for charging on the go. Keep in mind that the different type-C plug outlets can drastically change the time taken to charge the drone’s battery.
Anafi Parrot distinctive features
This drone has a variety of flight modes and smart filming capabilities. Some of its features are standard like auto-follow, waypoint flying, and orbit. Others like slow motion, hyper-lapse, and dolly zoom are unique to the Anafi.
Parrot also added some much-needed capabilities to this drone; a good example is the ability to fly the Anafi without a controller, launch from hand feature, and a USB-C battery that can also work as a charger. All its features are not so distinctive to it, but give it an excellent all-around feel and functionality.
Flying the Parrot Anafi drone
As far as piloting goes, this drone handles quite well. It can be operated in wind speeds of up to 32 miles per hour (50 km/h) comfortably. It has solid battery life and a 2.5 mile (4 km) range, and you’ll hardly go out of that orbit. Quality radio transmitters have always been a pillar of the Parrot brand, and the Anafi is no exception.
This drone’s camera is really something special. It can turn the most inexperienced pilot into a pro cinematographer, thanks to the ability of editing footage right on the application. Moreover, the HDR, and lossless zoom just add to the overall image quality. Footage conveyed to your phone is crisp and clear.
Control and autonomy
Controlling the Parrot Anafi is a breeze, and not only when it comes to flying. The first thing we noticed is how simple the pairing process is. In most other drones, you first have to connect your phone to the controller, which then tries to connect to GPS signals around.
These processes take a lot of time and are often a feature, more like a disadvantage that has to be factored in when getting a drone. Parrot has somehow hacked this issue with the Anafi. Its connections are almost instantaneous, which means a lot.
In terms of autonomy, the Anafi performs admirably. The automated flight mode works as advertised, giving the pilot a smooth flight, great if you’re filming. The dominant feature missing in the Anafi is the obstacle avoidance feature, present in most drones in its price range. However, you can gloss over that fact, by flying it a little more cautiously.
Nevertheless, Parrot Anafi is equipped with a ground sensor, so it won’t just drop from the sky in a pulp. It comes back in range if it goes out of the threshold, and if it can’t get a signal back, it slowly descends to the ground. This action also happens if it’s nearly running out of power, ensuring that it lands safely.
Anafi Parrot controller
The transmitter is of very high quality and well-accentuated design. However, the antenna is an eyesore when not in use, as it doubles up as a lock for your phone. It’s easy to snap most smartphones and phablets, which feel stable while in place.
The control keys are more responsive than those found in DJI drones controllers. They veer more towards cushiony, not tight and athletic. Recent firmware updates have cleared an issue with the first versions of the Anafi. There used to be a lag between the user input and drone output. Because of this, you might have seen other reviews mentioning this issue, which was fixed by the recent updates.
The Parrot Anafi uses Wi-Fi technology for connection, just like the Mavic Air. However, Wi-Fi connectivity usually has issues when flying a drone in urban or suburban areas dotted with obstacles. Even switching between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels (which it can) doesn’t really help.
Still, it has a considerable range despite any of the issues, and it comfortably can go as far as 1,000 feet (0.3 km). That distance is more than within the FAA regulations of having your drone within visual line of sight.
App and flight modes
Parrot is held in high regard when it comes to their smartphone (iOS and Android) applications, and the Freeflight 6 app the Anafi uses is no exception. It comes with all the latest flight modes you can think of, and Parrot always shoots from the hip when it comes to firmware updates.
It has point of interest, waypoints, Follow me, cameraman, and follow me modes. It also has unique flight modes, similar to what you’d find in pricey DJIs, for example, orbit mode, dolly zoom, parabola, boomerang, and tornado. Overall, it has more superior flight modes than anything else in the market.
The Anafi can slowly rotate 360 degrees while recording. The Ryze feature is unique to the Parrot Anafi, whereby it raises the camera, combining a panoramic shot in the end. You can make slow or speed up the video in real motion videos.
Parrot Anafi review
Some users of this drone have reported bugs in their software. However, Parrot offers regular updates to stem some problems highlighted, and there was a recent software overhaul in the system. So, people who bought it and have never updated the firmware usually have issues such as the drone moving on its own when in hover mode or certain camera modes not working as should.
The Anafi is a little bigger than the Mavic Air when folded or unfolded. Those who are new to the drone usually have a problem folding it up for the first time, since it uses a uniquely different mechanism. However, after doing it a couple of times, you get used to it and it’s second nature. The carrying case this drone comes with is very durable, protects the drone well, and looks very nice. However, it’s bulkier than in most cases, so more cumbersome.
Frequently asked questions
Is the Parrot Anafi any good?
The Parrot Anafi is not only cheaper than the DJI Mavic, but its camera is much better and even flies longer, in the same conditions. DJI even held back their latest flagship model (DJI Spark), to see how the Anafi would perform in the market.
Still, the Anafi has a few things holding it back, despite it being the best drone Parrot has made to date. Most notably, it doesn’t contain the standard obstacle avoidance feature. You’ll have to fly it cautiously, more so in areas dotted with trees and buildings, detracting you the overall flying experience.
So, to answer if the Parrot Anafi is any good, you can see that it is a steal. It has a better camera yet much cheaper than the much renowned Mavic 2, its closest competitor. This quadcopter also more than makes up for its shortcomings by giving you a liberating filming experience.
How long will the Anafi drone last?
If you are an experienced pilot, then this drone will serve you well. However, it is not beginner-friendly because it lacks the obstacle avoidance feature. For new pilots, it’s advised that you start with an FPV simulator or get a cheaper drone. The Anafi is a professional drone, and there’s no need to risk it crashing.
In terms of if the Parrot brand will last, there’s no reason to fear. The company has been around just as long as the Mavic brand and has been releasing drones consistently. The last thing you want is a drone from a little known brand since there are many which run out of business. Parrot also receives feedback from clients, releases meaningful updates, and has spares readily available.
How high can a Parrot Anafi fly?
Despite its weight, this drone is remarkably agile and stable. It’s easy to control and fly, so no inaccurate trajectory or jerky motion. In sport mode, it can reach speeds of up to 34 mph (55 km/h), as advertised by Parrot. The Anafi drone can reach a maximum altitude of 492 feet (0.15 km).
Anafi Parrot is definitely for you
If you desire to have the best commercial camera drone, then nothing comes closer to Parrot Anafi. Quality of footage, HDR features, and ease of use make it one of the best in its class; even DJI had to keep an eye over their shoulder. Parrot really brings it to DJI, which has forced them to stay innovative. The Anafi is ideal for filming stunning high-quality videos and capturing outstanding photos.
Parrot has weathered the turbulent storms, where brands like 3D robotics and GoPro tried but failed to arouse any interest. The fact that they have remained in the game all this long is just a testament to their products. They have drones for beginners, and professionals, with the Anafi being their most capable quadcopter.